Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
It might seem as if these statistics make Cabrera, the first triple crown winner in either league since 1967, a shoo-in for the M.V.P. But most statistically minded fans would prefer that it go to another player, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.
The argument on Trout’s behalf isn’t all that complicated: he provided the greater overall contribution to his team. Trout was a much better defensive player than Cabrera, and a much better base runner. And if Cabrera was the superior hitter, it wasn’t by nearly as much as the triple crown statistics might suggest.
It is an argument enabled by the improved ability to measure different elements of the game – defense, base running, and situational hitting – that were once weak points of statistical analysis.
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